Back when I was going to college, when I was first dating my wife, I was extremely spontaneous. Let me give you an example:
I picked up my unwitting bride-to-be at school during her lunch break and asked her if I could take her out to lunch. She was very excited about this, and inquired where I was going to take her. I told her about this cool little Italian restaurant called Geppetto’s. Really nice place, fairly inexpensive, a hip college hang out. I even told her I knew of a shortcut to get there. What I neglected to mention was that Geppetto’s was located in a town called Ashland approximately one hour and 45 minutes away from where I went to college, via a “highway” that the locals have dubbed “dead Indian road”.
What she was expecting was a quick 45 minute lunch break. What she got was a crazy, romantic, mildly insane road trip. When I eventually got her back home, it was half past dinner time.
Since those relatively carefree days, I have effectively taken my inner spontaneous child and beaten him to death with a stick.
I had painfully learned that trying to run your own business, and help raise two children, left little room for spontaneity. First my PalmPilot, then my iPhone, became my constant companion. The calendar app metered out my life in 10 minute increments. Every day events were planned out weeks in advance. Crucial events were planned out months in advance.
There is simply no way that I could turn back the clock to my old Bohemian ways. And honestly, I wouldn’t want to. Our current lifestyle and standard of living requires a large amount of scheduling. But I still wanted to give her a taste of that experience. I also wanted to make sure that my inner spontaneous child, although gravely wounded, was still kicking.
Geppetto’s closed it’s doors August 2011, so it was impossible to re-create that experience. Besides, just like the greeting cards, I want to start small.
So last Sunday at around 2:30 in the afternoon, for no discernible reason whatsoever other than the impulse to have fun I grabbed my wife & drove down to a cool little coffee joint. Located downtown in a funky/touristy area, and nestled in next to a pond and a city park full of hundred year old Pondarosa trees, this sit down coffee joint was well known for signature drink – the dirty hippie. Half chai and half espresso, and covered with an espresso infused whipped cream topping, this drink was to coffee what Michelangelo was to ceiling painters. One for me, and one for my wife. We nestled together in this little side room that had windows overlooking an adjacent breezeway.
I noticed that parked in the breezeway was an old-time Horsecart being pulled by an enormous draft horse. It’s owner was folding up a sign that said downtown tour rides were available.
My inner spontaneous child was whispering something, but I couldn’t make it out. It wasn’t until we had finished our coffees and we were getting ready to leave that I finally understood what my spontaneous muse was saying: “hey, old dude, ‘nuther opportunity here.”
By this time the horse and buggy had meandered halfway down the breezeway away from us. I broke out into a trot myself trying to catch him, leaving my wife behind in her high-heeled shoes.
I finally caught up to him and once I got my breath back, engaged his services. I help my wife into the buggy, then clambered on in. There were these neat little blankets we could snuggle up underneath. And just then it started to snow. It was a light snow that really added to the atmosphere of the horse and buggy ride. As we pulled out onto the downtown streets, I noticed that we were being stared and pointed at by all the other tourists on the sidewalks. Quite a few of them got out their cameras and smart phones and started taking pictures of me and wife and I are on our little romantic buggy ride. My wife noticed this and cuddled up even closer.
About a half an hour and several fantastic kisses later, our horseman took us back to our parked car.
Not bad for a first attempt, if I do say so myself. I think my inner spontaneous child is proud of me.